Burr Ridge District 180 misses NCLB targets
Updated: November 21, 2011 9:37AM
For the second consecutive year, Burr Ridge District 180 has missed testing targets set under No Child Left Behind.
A letter sent to parents by the district this week summed up the administration’s feelings about the district’s 2011 test scores.
“We are very proud of our past success at Burr Ridge CCSD 180, and we are working hard to continually improve upon the quality education we provide our students. But our scores last year met neither our standards nor the state’s,” Superintendent Tom Schneider stated in the letter.
District 180’s 2011 ISAT scores, gleaned from tests taken in spring 2011, and the district’s failure to make adequate yearly progress under federal No Child Left Behind legislation were discussed by the School Board Monday.
The minimum target set under No Child Left Behind for 2010-2011 was 85 percent of students, in every group and subgroup, needing to meet or exceed state standards in reading and mathematics. The district failed to meet that standard in several areas.
But there are bright spots in this year’s results, Curriculum Director Cathe Smith said.
“Some of them went up significantly,” Smith said of the 2011 scores.
At Burr Ridge Middle School, overall test scores in reading rose from 71.6 percent to 76.1 percent meeting and exceeding state standards. Math scores rose from 75.4 percent in 2010 to 80.5 percent.
At Anne M. Jeans Elementary School, overall test scores in reading rose from 58.2 percent to 67.2 percent, while math scores rose from 82 percent to 84 percent. Although the math results fell short of the 85 percent benchmark, a confidence interval — essentially a statistical margin of error — was added to the elementary school’s math score, allowing the score to rise above the minimum AYP, Schneider explained.
He said the confidence interval is applied to small test groups where a few students could strongly affect results. One hundred and forty-eight students were tested at Anne M. Jeans.
Smith said the district is disappointed but not surprised by this year’s results. Smith said the results have been fully examined for weaknesses and areas where the district can focus its efforts.
“We find there is not one specific … weakness,” Smith said. One result that did stick out was lower student performance on extended response questions in both reading and math.
The use of Smart Boards in the classrooms and “encore time,” a program that provides extra support to middle school students, are two of many changes the district made to foster better learning and higher test scores, Smith said.
At the elementary school, 120-minute reading blocks and an 80-minute daily math block were implemented to support students’ reading and math skills.
“Our goal is to make AYP,” Schneider said.
Failure to make AYP next year could result in money lost, Schneider said.
“It impacts our Title I funds,” he said. A third year failing to meet AYP could require the district to hire outside tutors.
“Test scores are important,” Schneider said. But he said the district’s first priority is to allow every student to perform to his or her highest potential.
Full report card results can be found at the District 180 website, www.ccsd180.org.